How to Cook Chickpeas

5 from 27 votes
Jump to RecipeJump to Video

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Once you know how to cook dried chickpeas, you’ll always have them on hand. Dried chickpeas are cheaper and tastier than canned versions, making them a great store cupboard staple. In this post, we’ll cover the process of preparing dried chickpeas, including pre-soaking, cooking, and proper storage techniques.

Cooked chickpeas in a small bowl

Homemade cooked chickpeas are just unbeatable! I’ve become a fan, stocking my pantry with dry ingredients in bulk. These freshly prepared legumes take dishes like hummus and chickpea salad to a whole new level. Now I almost always have cooked chickpeas in my fridge or freezer, ready to use whenever I want to whip up some chickpea recipes.

Cooked chickpeas in a pot and a bowl with aquafaba

Watch the video

Ingredients

A bowl with dried chickpeas

Dried chickpeas: Get them in bulk at the grocery store or online.

Water: Needed for soaking and then for cooking the chickpeas.

Salt: Add about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per cup of dried chickpeas.

Baking soda: Optional; add a pinch to the soaking water to help soften the chickpeas.

Bay leaves: optional.

How to cook chickpeas

  1. Rinse the chickpeas and place them in a large bowl: Start by rinsing the dried chickpeas under cold water to remove any debris or dirt. Then, transfer them to a large bowl or pot.
  2. Pour enough water over the chickpeas to cover them by a few inches: Dried chickpeas will absorb water and expand as they soak, so it’s important to use enough water to allow the chickpeas to expand to three times their size.
  3. Soak for at least 6 hours or overnight, optionally with baking soda: Allow the chickpeas to soak for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight. Adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the soaking water can help soften the chickpeas and reduce cooking time.
  4. Drain and rinse the soaked chickpeas: After soaking, drain the chickpeas and give them a thorough rinse under cold water.
  5. Place in a large stove pot, and cover with water: Transfer the soaked chickpeas to a large pot. Cover them with fresh water, ensuring that there’s enough water to fully submerge the chickpeas, about 2 to 3 inches above the chickpeas.
  6. Bring to a boil, skim foam: Place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. As the water heats up, foam may form on the surface. Use a spoon or ladle to skim off this foam and discard it.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours until tender: Once the water reaches a boil and you’ve removed any foam, add salt. Then, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow the chickpeas to simmer gently for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until they are tender. You can test for doneness by biting into a chickpea; it should be soft and creamy throughout. Once tender, drain the chickpeas and they’re ready to use in your favorite recipes.
Steps for how to soak, and cook chickpeas

Note: You can also use an Instant Pot to cook your soaked chickpeas for reduced cooking time. Add them to the Instant Pot with enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Cook on high pressure for 35-40 minutes, then allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Drain and use immediately or store for later.

How to store cooked chickpeas

To ensure they’re readily available for various meals, I always cook chickpeas in large batches. Once they’ve cooled completely, store the chickpeas along with their cooking liquid in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, drain and freeze them in portions in freezer-safe containers or reusable freezer bags for up to 3 months. This method helps retain their flavor and moisture.

Cooked chickpeas stored in freezer bags.

FAQs

What should I do if I forget to soak chickpeas?

Place the dried chickpeas in a large pot, covering them with several inches of water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat and let the chickpeas soak in the hot water for 1 hour. Finally, drain and rinse the chickpeas before cooking as usual.

How many cups of cooked chickpeas from 1 cup dried?

When cooked, dried chickpeas typically expand to about three times their original size. So, you can expect 1 cup of dried chickpeas to yield approximately 3 cups of cooked chickpeas.

What to do with the cooking liquid?

You can use the leftover chickpea cooking liquid to store the cooked chickpeas and preserve their flavor. Plus, you can make aquafaba whipped cream. It works great as a vegan-friendly egg substitute or binder in recipes.

Do I need to add baking soda when cooking chickpeas?

Baking soda, about 1/4 teaspoon per cup of dried chickpeas, can help soften chickpeas more quickly and reduce cooking time. It’s typically added to the soaking water before cooking. However, its use is optional and depends on personal preference and desired texture.

If you cook chickpeas at home, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

How to Cook Chickpeas

5 from 27 votes
By: Samira
Once you know how to cook dried chickpeas, you'll always have them on hand. Dried chickpeas are cheaper and tastier than canned versions, making them a great store cupboard staple
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8 portions (of 250 g each)

Ingredients 
 

  • 5 cups dried chickpeas (or 2.2 pounds)
  • water (for soaking and cooking)
  • 3 tsp salt (skip salt if using liquid for aquafaba)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (Optional for softening chickpeas)

Instructions 

  • Rinse chickpeas under cold water and soak them in a large bowl for at least 6 hours or overnight. You can add a teaspoon of baking soda for softening if you like.
  • After soaking, drain and rinse the chickpeas thoroughly.
  • Transfer the soaked chickpeas to a large pot, cover with fresh water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add salt, cover, and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours until chickpeas are tender.
  • Test for doneness by biting into a chickpea; it should be soft and creamy throughout.
  • Once tender, drain the chickpeas and they’re ready to use in your favorite recipes.

Video

Notes

Quick soak option: For best results, soak the chickpeas overnight. If short on time, boil dried chickpeas in a pot of water for 10 minutes, then let them soak in the hot water for 1 hour. Drain and rinse before cooking as usual.
If using the cooking liquid for Aquafaba whipped cream, omit the salt entirely.
Check out the blog post for tips on how to store, use, and answers to top FAQs about chickpeas!
Course: Side
Cuisine: American, Middle Eastern
Freezer friendly: 3 Months
Shelf life: 3-4 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 1portion (of 250g), Calories: 454kcal, Carbohydrates: 76g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 30mg, Potassium: 1091mg, Fiber: 22g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 84IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 131mg, Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 27 votes (22 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




24 Comments

  1. Sam says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for the tips! ALSO I just want that see through pan

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thanks, Sam! I don’t really recommend the glass pan – I only use it so I can demonstrate what’s happening while I am preparing something. 🙂

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Can I put thawed chickpeas in salad (with greens) or do they have to be reheated once they have been frozen and thawed?

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Yes, you can add them thawed.

  3. Negah says:

    5 stars
    I love your passion about food and do appreciate all your efforts in promoting all the information and experience you’ve got. You are the alpha foodie indeed.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Aww thank you so much, Negah 🙂

  4. Ben says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic blog. Very helpful. Gives info for all styles of cooking and storing the chickpeas. Nothing but the best from Alpha Foodie!

    1. Samira @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, Ben!

  5. Melanie says:

    Can I freeze the soaked chickpeas (without cooking) to make falafels later on?

  6. Manisha says:

    5 stars
    Really informative n very painstakingly detailed

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for your comment, Manisha.

  7. Alessandra says:

    You say bring to a boil and cook for 30-40 min – do you mean bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-40 min or is the pot boiling on high for the full 30-40 min? Other recipes I’ve seen ask to reduce heat. Just wanted clarification!

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Alessandra,
      Sorry for the confusion, I meant bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-40min (heat reduced). 🙂

  8. Ben says:

    5 stars
    Hey Samira! Great post!

    I’ve been doing my own extensive research on best results from chick pea soaking haha. I love your post here and so glad you mentioned the Sodium Bicarb…cause for me, that has resulted in my best beans yet! I feel like my cook times have to be longer than 30 min though…but maybe that could be my elevation?

    Hope you are well, and thanks for all the amazing info!
    – PlantBasedFoodGuru (aka Ben :))

    1. Samira @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, Ben!
      Indeed, at higher altitudes, you might have to cook them longer.

  9. Patrick says:

    Hi, would adding garlic to cooking liquid give a good garlic finish tast?

    1. AlphaFoodie Support says:

      I’ve never tried this but I imagine that it would certainly help. I suggest lightly sauteeing the garlic for a minute or so in oil then adding the chickpeas and water and seeing how that works out for you. If you use chopped garlic, when you sieve the chickpeas, the little bits of garlic will remain in with them and continue to flavor the chickpeas.

  10. Kathleen says:

    Do you need to put the soaking chickpeas in the fridge or can you leave them on the counter?

    1. Samira @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Kathleen, I do soak my chickpeas on the counter most of the time but in days if I soak and I don’t want to use that same day I would change the water and place them in the fridge so they don’t go off. I find placing them outside the fridge is only okay for the first day of soaking. Next day, they should be either used for any reason or placed in the fridge if not used that day.

      1. Umamimermaid says:

        Cook 50 mins for dry (probably old, in bag chickpeas) WAY too long. They were mush. I would cut cooking time in half to little less next time. They were not soaked. Followed to letter. I appreciate your direction either way! Maybe not on high in my instant pot? They all going to end up as garlic hummus anyway so not a disaster

      2. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi there,
        When using an Instant Pot (or pressure cooker) you need to reduce the time. I’ve suggested cooking them on High for 10-15 minutes with an instant pot. In a saucepan on the stove-top, you need to cook them for about 30-40 minutes.

      3. Sara Jacob says:

        Can I freeze cooked chickpeas along with the cooking water?

      4. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi Sara,
        Yes, you can.